My two young daughters love telling random people when daddy is away for work. The Target cashier, the librarian, parents at the park, the WHOLE. DAMN. WORLD.
This is how they say it: “Daddy’s on vacation…..I mean business trip! Hahahahahahaa!!!”
And I’m like, “BAAAAAAHHHAAAAhhahaaaaa!!!”
Clearly, I’m amused by this Freudian slip. But I’m also a little freaked.
Announcing an absent father (to the world) is risky – because of you know, psycho, stalker killers out there waiting to prey on my un-manned house.
Note to self: don’t post “Hubby is away on business!!! Woo HOO!!” on Facebook. Or Twitter.
Forgive me if I’m paranoid – that’s life with a traveling husband. Quick side note for you creepy fuckers that may read this: I have sensors and alarms strung and stuck on every door, every window, every crevice. You’d be caught in half a second. There is an array of alarms at the ready. It’ll sound like DEFCON FIVE up in this house if you try to mess with me or my kids.
I got weapons. I got self-defense moves. You don’t want none of this suckas – beeeeliiievvveee that.
Eeeek, sorry if I sound on edge a bit. It’s just, you know, you can’t be too prepared when your significant other says “Sayanara!” for weeks on end.
To some, I may sound OCD. Neurotic. Anxiety-ridden. I wish I took meds. I should probably talk to someone.
I DO sleep with my home security alarm remote next to me on my nightstand. I know the exact position of the panic button and its degree relation to my fingertips. Thirty degrees.
My car panic remote is next to that. Thirty degrees. North.
I DO check the stove multiple times before I go to bed – barking at it, “Off off off off.”
Confessions of a crazy person, mmkaaayyy. I get it.
Besides the panic-induced neurosis, I’ve narrowed down 20 thoughts moms with traveling spouses have while their mister is MIA.
1. He eats dinner at fancy restaurants. And sips nice adult cocktails while discussing politics, social issues, economics, art – anything a grown-up would talk about. I’m eating Cheerios, or whatever scraps are left on my kid’s plate after dinner, discussing the latest episode of Doc McStuffins.
2. He’s visiting cool places. Experiencing different cities, terrains and cultures. I’m going to Chuck E. mutha-effin’ Cheese. Again. If he sends me a selfie in front of a cool tourist attraction, I’m gonna get stabby.
3. Hubby sleeps uninterrupted in a hotel on plush pillows. I hardly sleep. I’m wedged in between two “scared” human beings who have “nightmares” fifty million times a night. Ohhh, they also do 360s in bed. So a limb in my stomach and a kick to the head is completely normal.
4. That fucker is so cheating on me. Probably not. But, he totally could.
5. Parks on the weekend are torture. Happy families are everywhere. Note to self: avoid parks like the plague.
6. Place one pair of hubby’s shoes at the front door and one pair at the back. To, you know, deter intruders.
7. Is the alarm system working properly? Are the fire alarms working? I should test those.
8. What kiddie activity can I find that will take up the most time? Art class will take up 1 hour. Ooooooo ooo – a playdate with that family down the street – that’s like 3 hours. I can’t stand so-and-so’s kids, but desperate times, you know, call for shamelessly desperate measures.
9. New batteries for vibrator must be stocked at all times.
10. I’m surrounded by little human beings all day long, but I feel lonely.
11. Hubby, don’t dial my number. You sound calm, cool and collected. I sound crazy. The kids sound crazy. I’ll resent you. Don’t call.
12. I need a break from bedtime stories. A hiatus to hell sounds fun at this point.
13. Walk slowly down the stairs – don’t fall. If I fall, my kids got no one.
14. Must teach kids how to dial 9-1-1 on iPhone.
15. Chew carefully. Must not choke while solely responsible for my kids.
16. Simmer down on the booze. Can’t get sloshed when you’re the solo parent. OK, two glasses of wine, that’s it.
17. Is marijuana considered medicinal for mothers? It should be.
18. I’m definitely not cooking dinner. Frozen pizzas, fast food and Kraft Mac & Cheese are great culinary creations. So is a bowl of Cheerios.
19. I hope I get a kickass souvenir. Or, like, a day off from this whole parenting thing when hubby gets back.
20. When’s your next trip? You’ve been home for two days. No, seriously, when’s your flight? I can drop you off at the airport.
Adjusting to life with a traveling husband IS hard. It’s lonely. It’s draining. Seriously, if it wasn’t hard, there wouldn’t be support groups for it.
Finding new ways to connect with your spouse (Sexy Skpe anyone?) is key. Finding new ways for your kids to communicate with daddy via G-rate Skype, video messages and snail mail will make the whole family feel more connected. Staying strong in your family “norm” and embracing the mantra “absence makes the heart grow fonder” will carry you through the days of drudgery. And when all that fails … there’s enough wine, chocolate and reality TV to numb the pain a bit.